DECREE OPENING SYNOD PROCESS
On Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021, I expressed my intention to convene a diocesan synod for the Diocese of Dallas. As I noted then: “This is a time of tremendous opportunity. This is not a time for going back to business as usual, but rather forward to fresh initiatives and bold witness to the enduring love of Jesus. This is a time to renew our faith in him and to strike out “into the deep water” with trust that the Lord is with us in the boat, battered as it may be by many headwinds, yet still continuing toward the destiny to which he calls us. This is a time to recover the original animating spirit of apostolic times, to see ourselves as one with those original apostles and disciples, with Mary, our Mother, and all the holy men and women who followed Jesus.”
I recognize that canon 461 of the Code of Canon Law states that “[a] diocesan synod is to be celebrated in individual [dioceses] when circumstances suggest it in the judgment of the diocesan bishop after he has heard the presbyteral council.” I also recognize that the Instruction on Diocesan Synods, promulgated by the Congregations for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, calls for a preparatory phase to precede a diocesan synod meeting.
Therefore, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and through the intercession of our patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, after having heard the presbyteral council and the faithful of the Diocese, and recognizing the need to renew and embrace the apostolic mission in the Diocese of Dallas, I hereby open the process of the third synod of the Diocese of Dallas, with the preparatory phase to commence today, December 12, 2021, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Given this day, the Third Sunday of Advent, at St. Ann Parish, Coppell, in the Diocese of Dallas.
Most Reverend Edward J. Burns
Bishop of Dallas